Chinese Lawmaker Demands Protection of Tibetan Mastiffs

A lawmaker has called for effective measures to protect Tibetan mastiffs, which are on the verge of extinction or degeneration.

"It is now difficult to find purebred Tibetan mastiffs on the Qinghai-Tibet Plateau," said Gong Baoshang, a deputy to the 10th National People's Congress (NPC), China's parliament, which is convening its annual session in Beijing.

Gong urged relevant governments and departments to establish a breeding base and a gene bank to save the rare species from extinction or degeneration.

Statistics show that purebred Tibetan mastiffs are fewer than 100 in the world.

Under the circumstances, some business people have purebred stud Tibetan mastiffs copulate with other dogs and make a handsome profit from the mixed blood lines, Gong said.

Called "living fossil," Tibetan mastiff is regarded as the " oldest, rarest and fiercest" dog tamed by human being some 6,000 years ago.

(Xinhua News Agency March 10, 2006)

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